Ask A Genius 485 – Consciousness and Its Registry, and Register-ers (1)
December 26, 2018
[Beginning of recorded material]
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What distinguishes information in the universe that constructs it, and information in individual consciousness, such as evolved organisms like human beings?
Rick Rosner: I do not think information is information unless it is registered and produces action in the world around it. The register-er does not have to be conscious. A security system can be triggered and take preventative measures without being conscious.
Somebody steps on a foot pad. Or if it is a dumb movie, somebody breaks a laser beam and all sorts of stuff happen. A system has been set up to register information. Somebody is stepping into the path of a laser beam and the system reacts to it.
Conscious beings, we can register and react to a whole bunch of different information. We are not specially built to register information; we’ve evolved to react to a wide range of sensory inputs as well as internal inputs.
If a tree falls in a forest without someone around, it might not have fallen. It is a terrible philosophical question because it forces the question. Because there is no tree falling in any forest that is not registered by some external system, like a frog being squashed.
A tree is a macro object in an area freely accessible over a long period of time to all sorts of entities that can register the tree. Nobody may care that the tree falls. But two years later, someone will see the fallen tree and know that the tree has fallen.
A better setup may be that if a tree falls or if a megalith falls on an uninhabited planet 25 light years away. Did it really happen?
[End of recorded material]
American Television Writer
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing
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